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What Are the Best Tips for Finding a Job Without a College Degree?

Highlighting applicable experience and certifications is helpful when applying to a job without a college degree.
Article Details
  • Written By: Amanda R. Bell
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Finding a job without a college degree can be difficult, especially when applying for average- or higher-paying positions. Some of the best tips for acquiring gainful employment without a degree are to focus your resume on achievements and include numerous references from employers and coworkers. Doing these things, along with putting information about a potential degree in a resume, will help the application make it through the screening process. Starting from a lower position and working up in a company can also be a good idea.

The lack of a degree can often stick out on a resume, especially if the job being applied for requires one. To draw attention away from this, detailed information about achievements and successes at previous jobs that relate to the desired position should be included. When applying for a job without a college degree, providing detailed information on all applicable experience and any on the job training completed or certificates awarded can also be helpful.

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Providing potential employers with very positive references can help significantly in finding a job without a college degree. While most employers want applicants with a high level of education, many understand that this same information can be learned through experience rather than in a classroom. In conjunction with the resume, providing several references from former or current employers that verify any claims of achievements made can be helpful. Including references from former or current coworkers can also help to verify this information and aid in taking the focus off of the lack of a college degree.

Many companies utilize computer technology to screen applicants for a job before the resumes are ever read by a person. This technology typically scans resumes for keywords related to the necessary qualifications for a job, including whether or not a degree is mentioned. To get an application past this system and increase chances of getting the job without a college degree, include any courses taken related to a degree or simply state that there is no degree. This will cause the computer to pick up the keywords, and typically pass the application into a file to be reviewed by the person doing the hiring.

Outside of applying for higher-paying jobs, finding a job without a college degree can also be accomplished by working up through a company. Starting in an entry-level position that does not require a degree and proving oneself in that position will often lead to advancement opportunities in the future. While working up in the company, it is important to always stay up-to date on training and take the initiative to learn more about current and future positions within the company. Although a college degree is important to many employers, knowing firsthand that a person is more than capable of doing the work required could outweigh the lack of a college education.

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